Welcome to the commentary page of Dr. David Caruth and Friends. Here we “keep it real.” In this section you will read “common sense” perspectives about a variety of current event topics and politics. You may also read commentary from colleagues of Dr. Caruth. Like-minded people who will share facts and insights to illuminate and expand your way of thinking on some of the relevant topics that impact our community, your family and ultimately your life.
We have access to a lot of mis-information that can cloud our judgment. Many of us have not been taught how to think objectively. It’s not your fault. That’s why we have this web site and blog. We want to present a wide-variety of views and opinions to help all of us make better and informed decisions about the things that impact our lives.
Gary Johnson, Founder and Publisher
Black Men In America.com
Dr. David Caruth, founder and President of God’s Perfect Timing Ministries is man of God and author of the book, God’s Perfect Timing: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty with Education and Faith. Dr. Caruth is a career educator, with more than twenty years of higher education experience. Prior to moving to Washington DC to help provide education to the poor and under privileged residents of the District of Columbia, Dr. Caruth served as the Executive Director and Vice President for Academic Affairs of the National Center for Professional Development Solutions, in Denver Colorado, where he oversaw Center operations, hired and supervised faculty and staff, developed and gained approval for all academic courses. He also taught graduate level courses in Instructional Technology, Diversity & Motivation, Grant Writing, Transformative Learning Theory, Portfolio Development and Personalized Learning Plans.
Dr. Caruth is an experienced inspirational speaker, motivator, coach, mentor and father. He is also a college professor having taught Research Methods for Non-profit Organizations at Regis University and Action Research at Lesley University, both at the graduate level, as well as undergraduate courses at the University of Wyoming, and The Metropolitan State College of Denver where he served as a full-time faculty in the African American Studies department.
Spiritual Transformation is a scripture-based process of healing that ordinary people can use to transform their thinking, and renew their minds. What transforms are the psycho-cultural assumptions that distort the way people see themselves. Use the 6 Keys to enhance your understanding of the Law of Spiritual Transformation, and empower people to live more prosperous lives.
Dr. Caruth overcame poverty after being struck by lightning at football practice as a senior in high school. He went on to author two books: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty with Education and Faith; and 6 Keys of Spiritual Transformation. Dr. Caruth’s books are available at: www.davidcaruth.com or from online booksellers.
Letter To GOP
Posted March 13, 2015
If I may draw your attention to the 15th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, black men gained the right to vote on February 3, 1870. Rest assured that we intend to use every available means to keep and exercise that right. As I write these words, the American Renaissance Movement, Inc. (ARMI), an organization started by conservative African American men, is moving forward with its efforts to influence party politics in the United States of America for many years to come.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, and Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell have gone too far in their efforts to defame the first African American President. Speaker Boehner did so with his invitation to Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu to address congress, and Senate Majority Leader McConnell did so with his open letter to Iran. Their acts to influence American foreign policy, and embarrass a sitting president, were shameless and must come to an end.
Let me be clear. While some members of the Republican Party may not like President Obama’s foreign policy, he is our President. With considerable support from African American men, the American people elected him to conduct foreign policy on our behalf. My message to the GOP is this, use some of your power and resources to address the socio/economic concerns of African Americans. Black men in America cannot and will not stand by while party leaders shift attention away from a systematic pattern of racially motivated killings of African American boys and men, by law enforcement officers.
History will prove it to be a mistake of epic proportions if the GOP ignores civil rights issues in America, while its leaders aligned themselves with leaders of foreign governments. If the GOP remains silent on one of the most serious civil rights issues of our time, the assassination of our most celebrated President, Abraham Lincoln, would be in vain. As one nation, under God, we have to resist the work of people who seek to sow seeds of hate, violence, and mistrust into the fabric of our society.
Black lives matter. The votes of African American men cannot be taken for granted by either party. In the next presidential election, we fully intend to exercise our political mobility. As you know, 48% of men voted for John McCain, while 49% voted for President Obama. Do the math. If African American men had voted for Senator McCain in higher numbers, he would be President, and our government leaders would not be fixated on bringing shame to our representative democracy.
Lest you forget, on March 7, 2015, President Obama and other civil rights leaders marked the 50 Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery Marches that were led by slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Fifty years ago, civil rights leaders, including Minister C.T. Vivian and a younger John Lewis, showed extraordinary courage to confront an armed police state in Selma, Alabama. We are calling on the GOP to consider the cost and encourage Speaker Boehner and Senator McConnell to provide the leadership necessary to address this concern, with deeds, not words.
Prior to the tragic killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed black man in Ferguson, Missouri, the killing of Tony Robinson, an unarmed black teenager in Madison, Wisconsin, and other senseless killings of unarmed black men in other cities throughout the country, my friend, Cheryl Owsley Jackson, devoted nearly two years of her life to establish the Cary Owsley Mission For Justice, after her brother Cary was shot and killed in Columbus, Indiana. His death from a gunshot wound to the chest was ruled a suicide, with no investigation and no autopsy.
We are not merely asking for the GOP to hear us, we are boldly proclaiming that any political party that ignores our concerns, will find themselves awash in a tidal wave of courageous Americans determined to use every available means to make our voices heard in the next presidential election cycle. When society threatens us with violence, teargas, and police dogs, we will not stand down. In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we will stand-up with our hands up.
We call upon African American men in every state in the union, but especially in Kentucky and in the 8th Congregational District of Ohio, to register to vote, and join the American Renaissance Movement, Inc.. As men, we call on you to demonstrate through your actions, that you have the courage to join our efforts to show leaders of all political parties that they can no longer take our votes for granted.
If we, the ARMI, are not satisfied with actions taken by party leaders, know that our boots will hit the ground in every congressional district, and in every state, to increase voter turnout and protect the rights of voters who desire to exercise their constitutional rights. Our aim is to elect leaders who share our core values, and who we can trust to use the power vested in the offices they seek to provide justice and liberty for all Americans.
About the Author
Dr. David Caruth is the founder and President of God’s Perfect Timing Ministries, (GPTM). GPTM is a 501 C 3 non-profit organization that helps the poor and homeless reclaim the dignity of their lives. Dr. Caruth overcame poverty after being struck by lightning at football practice as a senior in high school. He went on to author two books: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty with Education and Faith; and 6 Keys of Spiritual Transformation. Dr. Caruth’s books are available at: www.davidcaruth.com or from online booksellers.
Men of Courage by Dr. David Caruth
Posted February 27, 2015
Have you ever asked yourself why both Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X were gunned downed by assassins in the prime of their lives 50 years ago? I have, and what I have to say might surprise you.
On the surface, it appeared that Martin and Malcolm held different spiritual beliefs, and pursued opposing outcomes for Americans of African heritage. Dr. King was a college educated Baptist minister, and used his voice and the power of his pen to support civil rights and integration of the races. While Malcolm X, on the other hand, was a street-smart Muslim minister who used his voice and the power of his pen to support black self-determination and separation of the races.
Dr. King was best known for his direct action and passive resistance, while Malcolm X felt more justified using any means necessary, to end the morally wrong and unlawful oppression of African Americans. Dr. King chose to use the power of love, to transform the minds of racist factions in America. While Malcolm X sought to shock the conscious by suggesting that African Americans fight to establish a black-owned nation-state within the United States.
To achieve their seemingly diametrically opposed outcomes, both men taught their followers how to respond in the face of threats of bodily harm. Some of Dr. King’s followers (a cross section of men, women, children, of all races and various religious beliefs) were asked to turn the other cheek, and pray for those who attacked them. Malcolm X’s followers (primarily African American men), on the other hand, had to stand their ground with the discipline of a paramilitary unit until ordered to take action. Both Dr. King and Malcolm X understood two fundamental truths: the battle ground for transformational change is in the mind; and their followers were required to feed on strict diets of discipline, direct action, education, and faith.
If you look more closely at their lives, you will see that Dr. King and Malcolm X shared more commonalities than you might think. Both of their fathers, Martin Luther King Sr., and Earl Little, were Men of God. Martin Luther King Sr. was a Baptist pastor, and missionary born in Stockbridge, Georgia. While Earl Little was a Baptist minister, and community organizer born in Reynolds, Georgia, a short 80 miles away from each other. In light of their father’s vocations, or callings, its not surprising that they both turned out to be men of God, and that their spiritual journeys transformed their thinking, perspectives, actions, and their religious beliefs.
Both Dr. King and Malcolm X were arrested and jailed, albeit for very different reasons. Dr. King was arrested and jailed for committing acts of civil disobedience. Malcolm X, was arrested and sent to prison for committing common crimes. Nonetheless, both men preached sermons in houses of worship, wrote and delivered powerful speeches, and ground their thoughts and ideas in the Word of God.
As we learned from Dr. King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” taking direct action was the last step of a 4 step non-violent campaign to bring about change. The first 3 steps in Dr. King’s non-violent campaign routinely received less attention: 1) collect the facts to determine if injustice exists; 2) negotiate; and 3) self-purification. Without all 4 steps, a non-violent campaign for change would have failed.
In Malcolm’s “The Old Negro and the New Negro” speech, he made it plain that African American integration into white society, and being subjected to unjust laws was undesirable and would fail. In stead, he sought to transform the minds of “so-called Negros” because he wanted African American men to: think for themselves; speak for themselves; stand on their own feet; and walk for themselves. His aim was to free our minds, so that we could fully engage in self-governance.
In the beginning of this article, I stated that it appeared that Dr. King and Malcolm X held different spiritual beliefs, and pursued opposing outcomes for Americans of African heritage. I believe they did pursue different outcomes; however, they shared one quintessential spiritual belief; like Jesus, they laid down their lives.
They also valued systematic change. Dr. King’s non-violent approach called for us to collect the facts and determine if injustice exists. Malcolm X’s approach called for African American men to think for ourselves. Who is in a better position to determine if injustice exists? Is it the perpetrators of injustice, or the men who get subjected to it on a daily basis?
Dr. King’s approach called for African Americans to negotiate. Malcolm X would insist that African American men speak for ourselves in the negotiation process. Who is in a better position to know what African Americans want? Would it be African American men, or white men whose ancestors built or benefited from a socio-economic system that enslaved and later exploited black labor?
Dr. King suggests that African Americans go through a self-purification process. That process would cause blacks to clean ourselves up so that we could win the support of the majority. Malcolm X could argue, and rightly so, that the Nation of Islam has a history of cleaning up African American men, and that African American men could stand on our own feet and govern ourselves without interference from the white power structure.
Finally, Dr. King suggested that we take direct action. For Malcolm X, that means black men walking for ourselves. Both men had the courage to take direct action. Dr. King’s action was designed to achieve broader goals for our country as a whole; while, Malcolm X’s actions reminded all who would listen, that black men were determined to stand-up and walk, by any means necessary.
Understanding their commonalities and differences does not explain why both of them were murdered. I believe they were gunned down because they had the courage to speak truth to power, and that the spirit of Christ enabled them to lay down their lives so that others might live more abundantly. Together, they represented the best chance for African Americans to overcome the vestiges of 4 centuries of racism and oppression. Had both men lived, and were able to continue their teachings, more African Americans may have learned how to take disciplined direct action, and developed into leaders better equipped to help the poor break the cycle of poverty.
Be The Change You Seek
By Dr. David Caruth
Have you ever asked yourself where Black men fit into the discussion on poverty? My answer will probably surprise you. Black men ought to be leading the discussion, not being led around by the nose like chattel, with brass rings through our noses, by politicians who have to go back 4 generations to find poverty in their family bloodlines. For many of us, myself included, all we have to do to identify with poverty is look in the mirror, or walk across the street.
In 2015, who has the moral authority and vision necessary to help bring people out of poverty? Should we continue to wait on government or politicians to show us the way? Or perhaps we should we follow the Pope as he shifts attention away from the Catholic Church’s Sex Abuse Cases, and onto the poor? Or maybe we should hope that billionaire’s will take up this cause?
The truth of the matter is this, pinning our hopes on any the three examples listed above is not likely to bring about the change we seek. No politician, especially President Barack Obama, nor His Holiness Pope Francis, nor the wealth of Bill Gates, can deliver people from poverty.
We cannot expect society to devise a way to bring equality into our lives. Nor can we continue to allow world leaders to force us down paths towards greed, hopelessness, and death. Black men have to re-insert our independent thought and actions back into the equation.
Black men have already shouldered the burden of slavery, lynching’s, racism, and discrimination. Now we have to decide among ourselves how to help people overcome poverty. We have to use our own ideas to stop people from thinking its ok to kill the poor. Finally, we have to figure out how to use the gifts that were deposited in us at birth, and our collective strength, to change our reality.
Our teachings must empower people to chart new courses of action for themselves to bring about positive changes in their lives. Black men must be the change we seek to transform our lives. We can, and must, assert our right to be men, and stand on the Word of the Holy Scripture to transform our thinking, renew our minds, and change our perspectives of what is possible.
We don’t have to re-invent the wheel, or start at ground zero. People from around the world already know that we can move mountains. We elected Barack Obama as President of the United States of America, and erected a monument of Martin Luther King Jr. on the National Mall of the most powerful country in the world.
Our greatest challenge is to convince ourselves that our thoughts and ideas are sufficient to lift us up. Martin Luther King was not a politician, or a killer of men. Yet the statue of him stands on the national mall between symbolic mountains, not far from monuments dedicated to our nation’s founding fathers.
Martin Luther King Jr. was a Man of God who didn’t have vast amounts of independent wealth at his disposal to protect him. All he had to protect himself was the love of his fellow man, and his faith in the glory and power of God. He stood on his faith in the power of love to move the mountains of racism, discrimination, inequality, and poverty.
Yes, poverty is a mountain. It is a mountain of hopelessness and despair, and it affects people from every race and creed. But it can’t be overcome with hate and bullets. Violence breeds violence. We have to teach people how to overcome poverty, and other difficult challenges in their lives, with the Word. Yes, we all have to learn how to better understand and use biblical laws and principals to improve our lives.
Protest rallies are not enough. People have to be taught how to reflect on the circumstances they find themselves in, before they develop new strategies for taking action. As we learned from Dr. King, taking direct action is a useful and necessary tool to bring about change. But we also have to determine for ourselves what that change should be, and what steps have to be taken to reap what we sow.
Martin Luther King Jr. lifted his voice to bring about change. I urge each and every one of you who read these words to stand with those of us who have dedicated our lives to doing something about poverty. Be part of the solution, and help us help those who feel trapped by the physical and psychological shackles of poverty, to free themselves.
About the Author
Real Black Men Fight Poverty
By Dr. David Caruth
What ever happened to fighting poverty? I don’t mean the “War on Poverty” where illegal drugs and alcohol were pumped into poor communities, and resulted in addiction, crime, and economic collapse. I mean, what happened to the foundations and philanthropists that once cared about the poor? What happened to the black church, and successful African American men who took action to protect our neighborhoods and families? Have we all abandoned the poor, for the safety of living in up-scale neighborhoods? Or are we busy transforming our minds, so that we can be the change we seek?
We are living in a time where poverty, and the misery index are on the rise, and where killing black males is no longer news. In Washington DC, over 40 people have been murdered so far this year. That number represents a 75% increase in homicides over this time last year. The spike in murders, drug use, and poor education in our communities should outrage us. Are we not free to promote traditional family values, form our own associations, and have our view of the world accepted by the dominant culture?
When I was growing up, my mother taught me that finding a wife was a good thing. To prove it to me, she opened her Bible to Proverbs 31:10, which read: “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.” I read the following 21 verses, and it was hard to argue with her. However, Proverbs 31 doesn’t begin with verse 10. The first 9 verses were also instructive. Verse 9 states: “Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.” Should we not be more concerned about the lives of the poor who cannot escape poverty, than we are with the opportunity for one gay football player to secure a high profile job?
She went on to teach me the value of a two-parent household, education, and hard work. She assured me, if I had those three family values, together with a measure of faith, I could escape the sure grip of poverty, and live a prosperous life. As Black men, we need to get beyond emotional sensationalism, and turn our individual successes, into a well-oiled movement, to solve chronic dangers in our communities.
On May 19, 2014, Jonathan Weisman published an article in The New York Times where he presented data on President Obama’s economic recovery. By his analysis, the Obama economic recovery has left behind young women and blacks. Perhaps there is a lesson here for young women and black men.
The time has come for Black men to rethink how we go about making positives changes in our communities, and in our lives. We need to redefine how we learn, and determine for ourselves, if the dominant society values our contributions to society. We need to ask ourselves if its O.K., to delay our efforts to save our women and children, because the media wants to celebrate one man’s chance to compete for a job in the National Football League. When you consider the source of your outrage, remember this, dead men can’t vote.
Real Black Men Speak Up (March 6, 2014)
For five years, Black men in America have waited for President Obama to address the unique set of challenges we face year after year. We all know the statistics: high unemployment rates, high dropout rates, and high incarceration rates. Even worse, vigilante killers who murder young Black males walk free because we receive unequal treatment under the law.
Recently, President Obama launched a new initiative, “My Brothers Keeper” in a belated attempt to show concern for the pain Black men and our families feel and experience everyday of our lives. While I applaud any effort the President of the United States takes to address our concerns, I am more impressed by leaders in the Black community who have taken matters into their own hands.
Last year, Pastor Eugene Sheppard of Living Word Church in South West Washington, DC put out a call for a Black Men Roundtable. Nearly 40 pastors, ministers, and concerned members of our community showed up. We discussed ways the Black Church could reach out to Black men in the community to repair brokenness in our families, provide guidance for our youth, and solutions for families who were negatively impacted from failed drug and welfare policies of the Clinton Administration.
In addition to pastors and ministers, Purnell Pinckney and John Kirksey, representing the American Renaissance Movement Inc. made passionate presentations concerning our need to act independently of party politics. From their perspectives, we need to avoid secular liberal policies and support leaders who share our core values.
We identified 10 areas for concern that we want addressed:
- Absentee Fathers in the home
- Early education and intervention for our young men
- Adult Education and Vocational Training
- Business and Entrepreneur training
- Preventive negative behavior intervention
- Transformational Change
- Substance Abuse Counseling
- Job Fairs with on-the-spot interview and hiring
In a recent New York Times article by Michael Shear, “Obama Starts Initiative for Young Black Men, Noting His Own Experience,” Mr. Shear made it plain that President Obama’s belated concern with the plight of young Black males appears to be window dressing to shore up his legacy on race relations in America.
“Mr. Obama’s remarks come as the end of his time in office is in sight, with the president mindful of the legacy that his administration will leave behind on race and other civil rights issues like same-sex marriage and immigration. Mr. Obama has embraced the right of gay men and lesbians to marry, and Eric H. Holder Jr., his attorney general, has aggressively sought to ensure that all eligible Americans have access to the ballot box.” Shear, February 27, 2014.
From where I stand, President Obama’s choices to lead Cabinet-level executive agencies have failed to address the concerns that we identified. In fact, former HUD Secretary Jack Kemp did more to address the needs of the Black community than any of President Obama’s choices to lead domestic policies.
Secretary Kemp made grant funds available to eliminate drug use and fight the violence that comes with it. We are still waiting for President Obama’s HUD Secretary, Shaun Donovan, to provide leadership that will positively impact the lives of young black males who find themselves surrounded by poverty, drugs, and gun toting vigilantes. While we wait, I stand with progressive Black men who are not waiting for government to provide solutions to our problems.
Black men should take every opportunity to work directly with foundations and other private entities that understand what one nation under God, means. Real Black Men need to Step up and provide the kind of leadership that is necessary to help transform our country, protect our youth, and strengthen our families.
As the President of God’s Perfect Timing Ministries, I invite you to join our efforts to eliminate poverty. Together, we can begin the healing process and live out the true meaning our creed, “one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and Justice for all.”
Real Black Men Speak Up (July 18, 2013)
By Dr. David Caruth
Just last week, I wrote an article on Real Black Men making a difference in the lives of our children. This week, in the aftermath of the verdict in the Travon Martin case, in favor of Vigilante killer, George Zimmerman, I urge ALL Real Black Men to speak up and make our voices heard. Our women and children have to a right to know that we will not be intimidated into remaining silent while ignorant elements of our society conspire to terrorize and kill our children.
Last week I said that Real Black Men, “ can be found behind the scenes, laboring tirelessly to save our youth from each other, and all to often, from the sure grip of mean-spirited adults.” However; in times like these, we have to stand boldly in front of the world, and proclaim that we intend stand on the Word of God, and claim the spiritual Amor of God as our protection, as we work to transform the hearts and minds of millions of people across the Unites States of America and around the world.
Like many of you, after hearing the verdict, I experienced the whole gamut of emotions: pain, dismay, anger, you name it and I felt it. I felt pain for Travon’s family, and I want them to know that God’s Perfect Timing Ministries (GPTM) is here for them. We at GPTM know that we have to stand on faith and use the transformative power of the Word of God to help heal our hearts and carry us through difficult times, especially when our flesh is too weak to carry us.
I call upon ALL Real Black Men to take no rest until our voices are heard. We have to stand with segments of our society that understand that we can and must break the cycle of ignorance through education and faith, and that we have to work together to repair brokenness our society.
For lack of a better word, I was dismayed by the apparent ignorance in our judicial system. I was dismayed because it appears that our generation will be the first generation of Americans to abandon our forefathers’ attempts to form a more perfect union. If you recall, on March 18, 2008, Senator Barack Obama delivered a speech in Philadelphia where he addressed racial tensions, white privilege, and race inequality in the United States. In that speech, he spoke about “Black Anger” and “White Privilege.” Know we have to ask ourselves if he was merely being a politician and if his words were meant only as a soothing balm to smooth over controversial comments made by his former pastor and spiritual adviser, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. As Real Black Men, we have to hold President Obama accountable.
I was angry because the police failed to detain George Zimmerman while they investigated a killing. I am an educator and a Man of God; so forgive me for not being a lawyer. But don’t police arrest people, on the spot, for relatively minor infractions of the law so that they can collect and examine evidence at crime scenes and/or especially places where accidents occurred and resulted in loss of life? Are we, as a society, expected to applaud their efforts for allowing George Zimmerman to walk free for several weeks without determining if he may have been under the influence of a controlled substance that may have contributed to his paranoid behavior and decision to accost and kill a teenager who broke no law?
I was angry that so many people in our society flocked to Zimmerman’s’ defense, and at the same time, treated Travon’s death as if it were justified and that his life had no meaning. I was angry, because as Black Men, it appeared that we are powerless to protect our children from harm. Are we? I don’t think so.
While it may appear that George Zimmer got away with murder, he didn’t. He has to live with the fact that he voluntarily followed, confronted, and killed an unarmed teenager. Trust me, God’s got this. I am reaching out to all who read this article to join me in providing spiritual healing. We at GPTM are available to speak to the Martin family, your church, community organization or you and your family. We have committed our lives to bring the kind of spiritual transformational change that is needed to help people increase their faith in God, change how they think, what they perceive, and how to develop and adopt a more positive worldview.
I invite you to visit our web site God’s Perfect Timing Ministries and if you agree with me, join with us and we will work together to begin the healing process. Forward this article to all of your friends and family. As the President of GPTM, I bear witness that miracles happen every day and that we can transform our lives. Look for my column next week on the Black Men In America.com website and blog and I will share real life miracles with you.
Real Black Men Make A Difference
By Dr. David Caruth (July 6, 2013)
Real Black men make a difference in the lives of our children, and in the lives of women and children other men leave behind. Oftentimes, we can be found behind the scenes, laboring tirelessly to save our youth from each other, and all to often, from the sure grip of mean-spirited adults. Several months ago, I got a call from a friend of mine, Dr. Daanen Strachan, and he asked if I would support his effort to win a contract from Washington, DC’s Mayor, Vincent C. Gray, to help the District of Columbia’s Department of Employment Services administer the Mayor’s 2013 Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP).
The DC SYEP is a locally funded initiative that provides District youth ages 14-21 years old with constructive summer work opportunities through job placement in both the private and government sectors. In addition to the work experiences, DC youth are also provided with exposure to a career fair, financial literacy, careers in Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) industries, healthy relationships, and other workshops.
Dr. Strachan was aware of my lifelong journey to help parents and youth break free from the debilitating affects of poverty. After seeing the results of my work in the community, and learning about my new book: God’s Perfect Timing: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty with Education and Faith, Dr. Strachan held a pretty firm belief that I would support his effort. He won the contract and we have 153 DC youth enrolled in one of the most innovative youth employment programs anywhere in the country.
Helping underprivileged youth is not new to me. For the past 30 years, I have served my community as a father, coach, teacher and mentor. One program that is dear to my heart is the “Fighting Back” drug elimination program for youth who lived in and around Section 8 public housing projects that my brother Richard and I developed. We recognized that children in our community were expressing a need to be heard, feel included, have some control over how they expressed their inner selves, and they desired a sense of affection. Their efforts to draw attention to their needs often got them shot or murdered; and if they were able to escape certain death, many ended up dropping out of school, joining gangs, getting arrested, having babies, and walking headfirst into lives of poverty and crime.
How many times has the Black community raised untold numbers of positive males, who end up burying too many of our children before they reached the age of maturity, let alone their prime? How many times have our children felt trapped by worldviews that were so filled with hopelessness and despair that they were not able see beyond the boundaries of their own neighborhoods? All too often, our children join gangs and kill each other so that they can feel protected going to and from school. Other times, our youth fall victim to overzealous police, or like in the Travon Martin killing, to misguided gun-toting vigilantes like George Zimmerman.
Personally, I know hundreds of Black men and women who, like me, value providing a strong work ethic, transformative education, and Christian values for our youth. I know sometimes we are hard to find. Many of us do not seek to draw attention to ourselves, and other times, certain elements in the media do not value our ideas, or cannot find a way to profit by reporting on the work that we do.
Regardless of the challenges we face, I encourage you to look for my weekly column on the Black Men In America.com web site and blog. My goal is to keep you informed of positive happenings from forward thinking people like me, and my colleagues from across the country, and around the world. Our mission is to help individuals break the cycle of poverty through an understanding of spiritual growth, educational transformation, and God’s Perfect Timing Ministries. Simply put, we envision a world without poverty and have dedicated ourselves to helping millions of families that feel trapped by conditions of life break the cycles of poverty.